Hermann Broch as a reader of Max Weber: Protestantism, rationalization and the 'disintegration of values'

History of the Human Sciences 19 (4):1-18 (2006)

The article explores a range of motifs in the writing of the Austrian émigré novelist and essayist Hermann Broch, that point to themes in the sociological thought of Max Weber. Although explicit citations of Weber’s name appear rarely in Broch’s writings, the thematic and stylistic contents of Broch’s first novel of 1930-1 The Sleepwalkers indicate a plethora of ways in which the Austrian author engages with ideas he can only have first assimilated by means of a more or less conscious programme of reading in texts by Weber and by other thinkers of the same milieu and generation, including Wilhelm Dilthey and Heinrich Rickert. Most notably in the ‘Excursus on the Disintegration of Values’, in Part III of The Sleepwalkers, Broch elaborates what might be seen as a certain poetic extension of the Weberian vision of modernity in terms of rationalization, disenchantment and the fragmentation of value-spheres
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DOI 10.1177/0952695106069665
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